A Guide on How to Create Instagram Stories Ads

February 7, 2019

Instagram Stories Ads is one of the many great features that are available to Instagram accounts with a business profile, enabling these to promote their brands to a daily audience of roughly 400 million active users (and this number keeps on growing). Stories Ads are shown to users in between the stories of accounts that they follow. Unlike Stories, though, these ads may not be replayed once they are done running, so they need to be engaging enough to make a lasting impact. If you have not yet created an Instagram Stories Ad, here are the steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Objectives

When Instagram Stories Ads were first introduced, the only available objective was Reach, which is designed to get your ad to be viewed by as many users as possible. Now, there are four more objectives you can choose from:

  • Video views
  • Conversions
  • Traffic
  • Mobile app installs

Given the high engagement rate on Instagram Stories, with 6% to 10% of their followers opening each story, Stories Ads and the wider range of objectives offer an incredible opportunity for businesses to catch the attention of and build a connection with their target audience.

Step 2: Create Relevant Content

Start with a photo or video that would show your offering. For example, if your business is a coffee shop, you might want to post an ad featuring your signature brew. Make sure to choose high quality visuals that would appeal to your target audience and that your brand name is visible, then optimize your ad by including relevant content. A minimal look with high contrasting colors is a good combination to quickly catch the users’ attention. Before posting your ad, take a preview of how your ad might look in Ads Manager or in Creative Hub before submitting this for approval.

Step 3: Check Your Ad’s Dimensions

Make sure that the dimensions of your ads follow the standard specs for Instagram Stories Ads. For an image ad that would be visible for 5 seconds, the file type should be .jpg or .png. The recommended resolution is 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The minimum resolution is 600 pixels by 1067 pixels. Maximum image file size is 4GB.

For video ads, the maximum length is 15 seconds and the recommended video formats are .mp4 and .mov. The recommended resolution is 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The minimum resolution is 600 pixels by 1067 pixels. Recommended video codecs are h.264 and VP8, and audio codecs are AAC and Vorbis.

Step 4: Target Your Audience

Considering that the attention span for watching Stories is shorter, you need to be very selective in targeting your audience and use the right tools to make sure that your target audience notice your ads. Facebook Custom Audiences enables you to remarket to prospective customers that are already familiar with your brand. If you are not familiar with this term, try to think of the last time that you visited an online store. Did you notice that after leaving the site, you seem to see their ads practically everywhere? This is basically what remarketing is. With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can remarket to Instagram users based on the following segments:

  • Customer file - Email addresses, phone numbers, or any other information you have acquired in lead generation
  • Website traffic - People who have visited your website, blog, or a particular landing page
  • App activity - People who have interacted with your app
  • Offline activity - People who have interacted with your business, either in-store or by phone
  • Engagement - People who have engaged with your content on Facebook or Instagram

Remarketing, also referred to as retargeting, is an effective way for businesses to boost their marketing ROI. Based on studies, 72% of people shopping online will abandon their cart before making a purchase but 26% of them will return to complete their purchase later IF they are retargeted. Apparently, the visual reminders serve to help people decide to go ahead with their purchase.

Step 5: Choose Your Stories Ad Placement

Although Facebook Ad Manager recommends automatic placements, it is best to fine tune your Stories Ads to specific placements since you know your audience best. If your audience on Facebook is very different from your audience on Instagram, then it would not be beneficial for your brand to show the same ad. When editing the ad placement, you can select Stories only.

Step 6: Add the Appropriate Call-to-Action (CTA) Button

Regardless of your objective, it is always best to add a strong call-to-action at the bottom of your Stories Ad to encourage your audience to swipe up. Choose the appropriate CTA button for what you want the users to do, whether you want them to visit your site, make a purchase, or install your app. The unassuming Learn More CTA button is an excellent choice for targeting cold audiences, those who know nothing about your brand. This CTA is the best way to invite cold audiences to explore your brand and see what it can offer to them.

Step 7: Analyze Both Instagram Stories Ads and Your Instagram Account

When assessing how well your Stories Ad performed, you also need to check your account’s analytics to see if your ad had helped to gain more followers, improve your engagement rate, and increase your profile views. Take note of when your ad campaign started and see if your account’s metrics began rising from this date.

Creating Instagram Stories Ads is an effective way to get noticed by Instagram users and influence them to follow your account, visit your website, take advantage of your current promos, and make a purchase online. And considering the number of users who spend time checking Stories on a daily basis, you can expect positive effects to your Instagram account and online sales, as long as your Stories Ads are done the right way. These steps and tips should help you get started. Make sure to bookmark this page and take notes!

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